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Wearing retainers after teeth straightening | NewSmile™

Wearing Retainers After Teeth Straightening

January 24, 2023

Depending on the before status of your teeth, straightening your teeth can take up to 60 weeks to create the smile of your dreams. After all of that time and dedication, you want to do everything possible to keep them straight. But how?

Teeth on the Move

Retainers are the only surefire way to maintain those perfect teeth, but the big question is: what is a retainer for?

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Your teeth are constantly on the move—the second you stop using your alignment trays, your teeth begin shifting back to the way they were before, primarily your lower front teeth. It’s for this reason, that you should plan to wear your retainer for some period of time every day for the rest of your life. Retainer benefits are many, and preventing you from throwing away all of the time and money you just invested in straightening your teeth is definitely at the top of the list.

Proper Use of Your Retainer

The amount of time you need to wear your retainer varies based on how long it’s been since you finished your last alignment tray. Typically, you can expect to wear your retainer almost around-the-clock during the first few months, eventually decreasing to nightly wear for up to two years post-alignment tray, tapering off to just a few nights a week after that. Although it’s tempting to discontinue use of your retainer at this point in time, it’s highly recommended that you don’t—to reap the best results, you should plan on wearing your retainers 3 or 4 times a week.

Types of Retainers

With two main varieties of dental retainers available, it’s important that you find the one that best fits your lifestyle. Removable retainers are comprised of wire and acrylic and can be customized in a variety of colors to help you show your personality. Clear overlay retainers are much like alignment trays and can actually serve a dual purpose—they keep your teeth in line while protecting them from the wear and tear that can accompany grinding your teeth. NewSmile™ gives you 1 set of retainers for free with the service, and you can buy extras as you may lose your retainer. Even better, overlay retainers are nearly invisible and can double as a whitening tray.

Take Care of Those Pearly Whites

Teeth have a tendency to continually try to shift back to it's original position (misaligned position pre-treatment), and because retainers are made of thin, medical grade plastic, we recommend changing your retainers every 6 months because they will stretch with time.

Are you almost finished with your aligners and preparing to finally experience life with the delightful teeth you’ve always dreamed of? Perhaps you’re just trying to figure out what to plan for when you complete the alignment process you’re hoping to begin soon. Whatever the case, we can help! 

Check out more of our blog posts for ideas on how to keep your teeth in tip-top shape, looking and feeling beautiful.

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